Level the Playing Field

Level the Playing Field

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Level the Playing Field

Almost in every society, women were considered as weak beings and were not allowed to have any say or contribute towards any discussion. They were disrespected and not valued at all and more especially when it came to the distribution of job opportunities. Men could be considered the most and out of every five men, one woman was present or even no woman at all. The original intention of the affirmative action was to “level the playing field” and ensure minority groups were treated fairly during the employment process(Bean, 2015). Affirmative action did not only apply in employment process only but also applied when it came to determining the entrance points to universities for the minorities and women in the society. Basically, affirmative action from the beginning was intended to favor minorities and women whereby they were to be given a special consideration in the opportunities that were given to their male counterparts.

The affirmative action has a history of how and when it started over the last 40 years. For us to be able to know and understand what affirmative action has done and affected the fields of politics, academics and business, it is very important to get to know about its history. The past of affirmative action is very complex. The first person to come up with that idea was known as Franklin D. Roosevelt. United States of America was in a big crisis and depression and this man claimed to change the situation. He made efforts to do all he could to take America in to greater heights but he could not succeed fully because America lagged in discrimination and segregation. He tried to start up new programs to help towards that noble mission but they could only be enforced temporarily and weakly. He led America through the Second World War during his tenure and enforced the idea of equal employment. His other aim was to end segregation and he signed up a rule that stated that there “shall be no discrimination in the employment of workers in defense industries or government because of race, creed, color or national origins”.

Harry S. Truman was after Roosevelt and he reaffirmed the orders and went ahead to allow all the minority tax payers to be able to access the Federal jobs. He affirmed another other that allowed employment and equal treatment in the department of armed forces. It was until 6 march, 1961 that president John F. Kennedy was elected as the new president and issued an order to all government contractors to take and uphold affirmative action so as to ensure that all people who made job applications were employed and that the employees are treated well regardless of their race, national origin, color and creed. The approach of this order was different as compared to how it was in the time of the preceding presidents.

The United States citizen had been segregated and mistreated for a very long period of tired and were tired of this, and this was therefore their time to demand for their constitutional rights (Jaffer, & Brazeau, 2012).President Johnson signed an executive order that banned the small business organization from discrimination and this order became the legislation that guided citizens. This legislation would succeed because it had an enforcing unit unlike the previous ones. President Nixon was the next and he implemented a plan that defined the minorities and target ranges were set up. He directly compared the ratio of the minorities with the working on a contact and this gave a proportional hiring as one way to comply with the affirmative action.

The next was President Carter who during his time, the country had come from far up to where it was. He therefore made a definition for affirmative action whereby he said, “they are goals and timetables for government contractors set aside for minority owned companies, and special consideration to admission in university program”.

During the reign of President Bush, the reputation of affirmative action was distorted. In his proposition, he said that race, sex and origin should not be used to discriminate or grant treatment to an individual in education and public employment. The propositions were legalized in Florida and Washington and people started referring it to reverse discrimination.

President Clinton preached for diversity in order to reduce the risks that could result as a result of using the affirmative action. In 2000 elections, affirmative action was mentioned until when he won the elections again. Affirmative action has had a renewed interest since the year 2003.

It is true and evident that affirmative action has been consistently and effectively used to create a more robust and productive workforce. Affirmative action has got so many effects which are positive and undeniable. It has helped so many minority groups to realize their right and demand for their rights to be observed. It has helped so many groups that for so long had unfairly been treated. It has progressively gone ahead to repair the damaged relationship that had been created during the times of slavery.

It is evident in the schools all over the whole nation whereby students of different races, ethnicities, color and creed have been admitted(Pak, Maramba, & Hernandez, 2014).To add on this, even in the realm of politics and business, we have people of diverse origins working together. Through its implementation, minority groups are able to join universities and colleges for higher education too. All these different sectors have had success which has been noticeable since the year 2011. United States of America has had governors who are non-white. It has also had non-white senators, justices, business men and women, mayors and even to an extent of having a non-white president.

This shows that for all these successes to have been realized, affirmative action has played a very big role and all these factors have been reliant on it. It has created a more robust and productive workforce because there is no worker whether white or black who feels discriminated because of their color, sex or origin. They are all treated equally and therefore this makes every employee to work devotedly through giving his or her best hence success being realized in different organizations and fields all over USA and hence making the whole nation a super power and great.


Bean, J. (2015). Big government and affirmative action (1st ed.). Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky.

Jaffer, M., & Brazeau, P. (2012). Level the playing field (1st ed.). [Ottawa]: Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights.

Pak, Y., Maramba, D., & Hernandez, X. (2014). Asian Americans in higher education (1st ed.). Hoboken: Wiley.